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While plate with banana leaf contains a A gordita, flauta, and chile relleno with plops of sour cream and guacamole in the middle.
A gordita, flauta, and chile relleno.
Josh Brasted/Eater New Orleans

Where to Satisfy a Craving for Mexican Food in New Orleans

14 top spots for flautas, tortas, enchiladas, moles, and more

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A gordita, flauta, and chile relleno.
| Josh Brasted/Eater New Orleans

For all its cuisines, Mexican isn’t one that typically comes to mind when considering New Orleans food as a whole. But even here, there’s a plethora of options to satisfy a craving for what could be considered the perfect food: It’s textural (tender meats, crispy tortillas, juicy pico de gallo, crunchy lettuce, creamy guacamole), balanced (savory herbs, smoky chipotle, fresh citrus, spicy peppers, sweet cinnamon), and deeply flavorful, the result of simmering, steaming, and open-flame cooking.

This map focuses on Mexican restaurants that showcase a well-rounded variety of staples, including tortas, chilaquiles, chile relleno, and more. For the most part, it’s not a group that includes Tex-Mex, Honduran, or other Central American/Mexican spots. It doesn’t cover counters and trucks that specialize solely in tacos (consult our guide to New Orleans tacos for that), or regional chains — these are homegrown spots.

Did we miss your favorite spot for Mexican cuisine in New Orleans? Let us know.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Los Jefes Grill

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Los Jefes has been a Fat City staple since opening near the original Drago’s in 2016. It’s particularly popular for its Mexican brunch buffet on Sundays, and if nachos are your thing, these are the good kind — a layer of chips evenly covered with queso, black beans, pico, meat, ‘penos, and importantly, sour cream applied with a squeeze bottle. Belly up to the bar for bottomless margaritas on Wednesdays.

La Patrona

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The Riverbend neighborhood loved La Mansión, the fun, homey Mexican restaurant tucked away on Dublin Street (and its owners, Edwin Alonzo and Veronica Cardona), so it’s great news that they’ve recreated something similar in a more prominent address just a few blocks away. It’s probably best suited for takeout, but if Alonzo is around, it’s worth trying to chat him up (and to try one of his margaritas).

Tacos from La Patrona.
La Patrona

El Taco Loco

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El Loco is an alternative to Felipe’s, an assembly-line style spot that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for volume. It’s housed in an adorable building on a busy block of Carrollton Uptown with a small front dining patio that is usually full, where regulars order deeply savory meats including lengua, tinga, and conchitas pibil on tacos, queso-drenched nachos, giant frozen margaritas, and super burritos that, even with add-on guacamole, come in well-priced.

Panchita’s Mexican Criolla Cuisine

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Cozy, authentic, homemade — that about sums up Panchita’s Mexican Restaurant on Carrollton Uptown, just steps from Lebanon’s Cafe. This family friendly homey spot offers Veracruz style specialties marked by fresh tomato sauce with olives and capers, without the heat of chiles. Try the al pastor and asada tacos, anything with mole, and a sno-ball or popsicle palate cleanser. Great prices.

Taqueria Corona

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With locations in New Orleans, Metairie and Harahan, Taqueria Corona is a popular sit-down bet for families and anybody craving ribeye carne asada. That rib-eye shows up in the tasty Philly cheesesteak taco with other options including crispy baja-style fish, pulled pork, and traditional spicy beef tongue. The house margarita is a good deal, made with fresh lime juice.

Loya's Mexican Restaurant

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Just a few years old, Loya’s is a great addition to the city’s Mexican cuisine — an unassuming storefront on a side street in Gert Town that invites with festive decor, warm hospitality, and traditional Mexico City-style food. Tortas, chile relleno, birria tacos, tamales, and warm, fiery salsa, freshly blended and served with paper thin, crispy chips — it’s all so, so good. Traditional breakfast dishes are served all day, and the family-run restaurant now has a liquor license and a menu of fun house cocktails; what more could you ask for?

El Pavo Real

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Broadmoor rejoiced when this cute corner cafe opened in 2015, as chef Lindsey McLellan quickly positioned it as a casual, family-friendly neighborhood joint; low-key and welcoming, reasonably-priced, and most of all, delicious. The tamales, mole, enchiladas, and all-day breakfast dishes are highlights of a succinct, fresh menu, and the drinks are some of the best in town, using fantastic house agua fresca game to liven up its margarita selection. If there’s a watermelon margarita, order it.

El Pavo Real.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Del Fuego

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Del Fuego is a pretty oasis of Mexican fare Uptown on a bustling block of Magazine Street, a family owned spot known for incorporating local and seasonal twists into a host of comfort dishes (for example, a Thanksgiving burrito). Fresh-tasting cocktails are made better with strong pours and the front and back patios — that’s right, there are two — are some of the best in town. The food, drinks, and setting combined and you’ll be happy to pay the 22 percent living wage service charge added to the check.

Del Fuego Taqueria
Del Fuego Taqueria
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Taqueria Guerrero

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The name of the game at Taqueria Guerrero is comfort food — begin on the huge menu with warming pozole or menudo, the well-known hangover cure, which seems to be extra curative here. Pastor, lengua, and tripas are always tender, never tough, and tortas and chimichangas are menu highlights. Don’t expect margaritas here, just beer, but there are all the best Mexican brews to choose from.

Johnny Sánchez

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Step inside Johnny Sanchez on Poydras and it’s clear this isn’t your usual taco joint. Eye-popping art, modern lighting, and a sleek sophisticated vibe matches the menu (and prices). Still, partner/chefs Johnny Sanchez and Miles Landrem deliver the goods, from tacos stuffed with albondigas, Aaron’s grandmother’s recipe, to crispy P&J oysters and fried cauliflower. Specials are always worth a try, and margaritas are top-notch.

Johnny Sanchez
Johnny Sanchez
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Lengua Madre

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Yes, Lengua Madre is vastly different from most of the restaurants on this list — the buzzy year-old restaurant is helmed by Ana Castro, who creates modern Mexican tasting menus in an incredibly chic, minimalist space in the LGD. While it might not be the Mexican most diners are used to, this food is game-changing, but rooted in tradition, and it shows in dishes like a luscious fontal tetela, corn masa stuffed with cheese and topped with charred avocado and a balanced dish of cobia al pastor. Occasionally the restaurant hosts Cantina Mondays, which don’t require reservations and offer a la carte snacks and drinks.

Snacks from a Cantina Monday at Lengua Madre
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Espíritu

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Tucked away on a side street in the Warehouse District, Espiritu Mezcaleria and Cocina is worth discovering on a few fronts. The restaurant offers modern, regional Mexican cuisine including tasty tacos, from crispy shrimp to Baja fish, to tortas, and ceviche, all best enjoyed with a flight of three housemade salsas. Then there’s the cocktail options — the restaurant’s co-owner Jason Mitzen is a master Mezcalier — and the bar is modeled after a Mexico City mezcaleria.

Cauliflower taco from Espíritu.
Espiritu/Official

Taqueria Sanchez

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For Mexican on the West Bank, look no further than Taqueria Sanchez a tiny, bright roadhouse that greets diners as they hit Gretna. The green salsa is the key here, and don’t miss the menudo or tortas, both standouts on the vast, affordable menu.

Taqueira La Coyota (Multiple Locations)

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One of the city’s best taco trucks is Taqueria la Coyota, but it’s menu is well-rounded — it’s been selling tortas, gorditas, pupusas, burritos, and quesadillas near the New Orleans-Arabi city line on Claiborne Avenue for years, long known for quality and affordability. There’s also a truck on Chef Menteur Highway, and a newer one that sets up in front of Wagner’s on St. Claude Avenue.

Los Jefes Grill

Los Jefes has been a Fat City staple since opening near the original Drago’s in 2016. It’s particularly popular for its Mexican brunch buffet on Sundays, and if nachos are your thing, these are the good kind — a layer of chips evenly covered with queso, black beans, pico, meat, ‘penos, and importantly, sour cream applied with a squeeze bottle. Belly up to the bar for bottomless margaritas on Wednesdays.

La Patrona

Tacos from La Patrona.
La Patrona

The Riverbend neighborhood loved La Mansión, the fun, homey Mexican restaurant tucked away on Dublin Street (and its owners, Edwin Alonzo and Veronica Cardona), so it’s great news that they’ve recreated something similar in a more prominent address just a few blocks away. It’s probably best suited for takeout, but if Alonzo is around, it’s worth trying to chat him up (and to try one of his margaritas).

Tacos from La Patrona.
La Patrona

El Taco Loco

El Loco is an alternative to Felipe’s, an assembly-line style spot that doesn’t sacrifice flavor for volume. It’s housed in an adorable building on a busy block of Carrollton Uptown with a small front dining patio that is usually full, where regulars order deeply savory meats including lengua, tinga, and conchitas pibil on tacos, queso-drenched nachos, giant frozen margaritas, and super burritos that, even with add-on guacamole, come in well-priced.

Panchita’s Mexican Criolla Cuisine

Cozy, authentic, homemade — that about sums up Panchita’s Mexican Restaurant on Carrollton Uptown, just steps from Lebanon’s Cafe. This family friendly homey spot offers Veracruz style specialties marked by fresh tomato sauce with olives and capers, without the heat of chiles. Try the al pastor and asada tacos, anything with mole, and a sno-ball or popsicle palate cleanser. Great prices.

Taqueria Corona

With locations in New Orleans, Metairie and Harahan, Taqueria Corona is a popular sit-down bet for families and anybody craving ribeye carne asada. That rib-eye shows up in the tasty Philly cheesesteak taco with other options including crispy baja-style fish, pulled pork, and traditional spicy beef tongue. The house margarita is a good deal, made with fresh lime juice.

Loya's Mexican Restaurant

Just a few years old, Loya’s is a great addition to the city’s Mexican cuisine — an unassuming storefront on a side street in Gert Town that invites with festive decor, warm hospitality, and traditional Mexico City-style food. Tortas, chile relleno, birria tacos, tamales, and warm, fiery salsa, freshly blended and served with paper thin, crispy chips — it’s all so, so good. Traditional breakfast dishes are served all day, and the family-run restaurant now has a liquor license and a menu of fun house cocktails; what more could you ask for?

El Pavo Real

El Pavo Real.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Broadmoor rejoiced when this cute corner cafe opened in 2015, as chef Lindsey McLellan quickly positioned it as a casual, family-friendly neighborhood joint; low-key and welcoming, reasonably-priced, and most of all, delicious. The tamales, mole, enchiladas, and all-day breakfast dishes are highlights of a succinct, fresh menu, and the drinks are some of the best in town, using fantastic house agua fresca game to liven up its margarita selection. If there’s a watermelon margarita, order it.

El Pavo Real.
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Del Fuego

Del Fuego Taqueria
Del Fuego Taqueria
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Del Fuego is a pretty oasis of Mexican fare Uptown on a bustling block of Magazine Street, a family owned spot known for incorporating local and seasonal twists into a host of comfort dishes (for example, a Thanksgiving burrito). Fresh-tasting cocktails are made better with strong pours and the front and back patios — that’s right, there are two — are some of the best in town. The food, drinks, and setting combined and you’ll be happy to pay the 22 percent living wage service charge added to the check.

Del Fuego Taqueria
Del Fuego Taqueria
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Taqueria Guerrero

The name of the game at Taqueria Guerrero is comfort food — begin on the huge menu with warming pozole or menudo, the well-known hangover cure, which seems to be extra curative here. Pastor, lengua, and tripas are always tender, never tough, and tortas and chimichangas are menu highlights. Don’t expect margaritas here, just beer, but there are all the best Mexican brews to choose from.

Johnny Sánchez

Johnny Sanchez
Johnny Sanchez
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Step inside Johnny Sanchez on Poydras and it’s clear this isn’t your usual taco joint. Eye-popping art, modern lighting, and a sleek sophisticated vibe matches the menu (and prices). Still, partner/chefs Johnny Sanchez and Miles Landrem deliver the goods, from tacos stuffed with albondigas, Aaron’s grandmother’s recipe, to crispy P&J oysters and fried cauliflower. Specials are always worth a try, and margaritas are top-notch.

Johnny Sanchez
Johnny Sanchez
Josh Brasted/Eater NOLA

Lengua Madre

Snacks from a Cantina Monday at Lengua Madre
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Yes, Lengua Madre is vastly different from most of the restaurants on this list — the buzzy year-old restaurant is helmed by Ana Castro, who creates modern Mexican tasting menus in an incredibly chic, minimalist space in the LGD. While it might not be the Mexican most diners are used to, this food is game-changing, but rooted in tradition, and it shows in dishes like a luscious fontal tetela, corn masa stuffed with cheese and topped with charred avocado and a balanced dish of cobia al pastor. Occasionally the restaurant hosts Cantina Mondays, which don’t require reservations and offer a la carte snacks and drinks.

Snacks from a Cantina Monday at Lengua Madre
Randy Schmidt/Eater NOLA

Espíritu

Cauliflower taco from Espíritu.
Espiritu/Official

Tucked away on a side street in the Warehouse District, Espiritu Mezcaleria and Cocina is worth discovering on a few fronts. The restaurant offers modern, regional Mexican cuisine including tasty tacos, from crispy shrimp to Baja fish, to tortas, and ceviche, all best enjoyed with a flight of three housemade salsas. Then there’s the cocktail options — the restaurant’s co-owner Jason Mitzen is a master Mezcalier — and the bar is modeled after a Mexico City mezcaleria.

Cauliflower taco from Espíritu.
Espiritu/Official

Taqueria Sanchez

For Mexican on the West Bank, look no further than Taqueria Sanchez a tiny, bright roadhouse that greets diners as they hit Gretna. The green salsa is the key here, and don’t miss the menudo or tortas, both standouts on the vast, affordable menu.

Taqueira La Coyota (Multiple Locations)

One of the city’s best taco trucks is Taqueria la Coyota, but it’s menu is well-rounded — it’s been selling tortas, gorditas, pupusas, burritos, and quesadillas near the New Orleans-Arabi city line on Claiborne Avenue for years, long known for quality and affordability. There’s also a truck on Chef Menteur Highway, and a newer one that sets up in front of Wagner’s on St. Claude Avenue.

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